Area streams have dropped to near normal flows, so wade fishing is turning on. Rock Creek and its tributaries are fishing well, but wading is a challenge. Fish are taking nymphs fished deep, with the occasional take on a big dry fly. Some holes are beginning to open up on the West Fork. Fish are eating smaller stonefly and hopper patterns. Any beadhead nymph dropper will get eaten as well.
The Stillwater continues to fish great from the boat, but wading is tough. Look for PMD’s in the morning and caddis all day. Fish are eating hopper/stonefly patterns sporadically in the afternoons.
The Yellowstone is good in the morning, slow in the afternoons. Fish aren’t on the hopper yet, but should be soon.
Beadhead Prince, Pheasant Tail and Copper John for nymphs
Madam X, Parachute Hoppers, and any tan or brown foam stonefly/hopper
Yellow Humpy, Yellow Parachute for Pale Morning Dun patterns
Tan Elk Hair Caddis and green or Caddis pupa
Montana Trout Scout
The flows on all area streams have dropped to near normal levels. Float fishing on the Stillwater and Yellowstone is excellent. Wade fishing is finally an option, as well. We have PMD’s in the morning, caddis all day and fish are eating a stonefly/hopper dry. I haven’t seen any hoppers out yet, but the fish are looking up for a nice, big mouthful.
Good work, Kade!
The Stillwater is steadily dropping. Wade fishing is still challenging, but float fishing is great! It’s a rock and roll ride with lots of whitewater, but the fish are ready to eat. Pale Morning Duns are coming off and fish are on them. Stoneflies are also in evidence, so a big stimulator is working well in the afternoon. Newlyweds and first time fly fishers Haven and Kelsey killed it yesterday!
Slowly but surely, area streams are dropping and clearing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still early season conditions out there. Wade fishing will be difficult for quite a while yet. Red Lodge Creek is fishing well, with PMD’s and yellow sallies around. Golden Stones are out on the Lake Fork of Rock Creek, but the water is still too fast to fish effectively. Float fishing the Stillwater is doable, but far from optimal. It’s bank to bank full and crankin’. Even so, fish are being caught on Stimulators. If you plan to float, be sure to check any bridges on your section. It will be very close getting under Spring Creek bridge, for example. The Yellowstone has been steadily dropping for a while and is finally clearing a bit. Chris and I ran a trip on it yesterday. It’s more green than brown, but moving very fast. We were able to get our clients into nice fish nymphing deep with standard stonefly nymph patterns. There were mayflies around, but no fish on them.
The ‘Stone may be big and brown, but so are the fish!
We are still waiting for the rivers and streams to come down enough to fish. Most streams in the area are about double their average flows for July. There seems to be an almost endless supply of snow in the Beartooths this summer. The Yellowstone may be the first to get fishable. It’s dropping a bit and slowly clearing up. The Stillwater is maybe starting to mellow a touch, but it’s a long way from fishin’.
On the upside, the Great Moss Debacle on the Bighorn is getting better. They increased the flow enough to dilute the floating moss and start flushing it out. Chris and I fished it during the worst of the moss. Here’s a pic of a nice brown that ate my #8 Fat Albert. We were fishing big hoppers with a short dropper to try to keep out of the moss. This it the only fish landed on the hopper, but we got a few eats and several looks. The dropper worked pretty well, considering. Landing fish in all that moss was, let’s just say, challenging. Leave it to two PWT Yellowstone guides to catch fish on a hopper with a bead head pheasant tail on the Bighorn in June!
Check out the massive hopper in his jaw!